Thursday, October 7, 2010

Building a lifeboat, watching the clouds roll in...

Its been a very odd year for us, which seems to be the case with so many people I know from SL and in RL. Things often change faster than I think I can keep up with - part of the inherent difficulty of trying to live in multiple worlds with multiple lives. Central to any of them working well is the desire to always grow as an individual and as an artist, regardless of the identity or the medium of expression. With that mindset I have been expanding in the new virtual world Bluemars with an idea which I first explored on a sim design called Rune not too long ago with the "Alpine Deathrace 2000" offroad race. We had so much fun with it that we decided to do it again in this new virtual world, not with one sim but with a city thats 1024 sims in size - or roughly 5.2 miles!

As you may imagine, this is going to take a bit of work, which is why I have been off the radar for some time since the LL fiasco that became the end of the LagNmoor sim. As we've said before, we have no plans to leave SL and will be continuing to provide content and new releases there. Though it is in early beta stages of development, Bluemars is an important step toward the future for my work and a new chapter in the evolution of virtual reality. In lieu of the ongoing problems with SL, however, I am not just trying to expand there; I now also see it as a lifeboat of sorts, if something does happen to SL. I want a place to land, a place for my friends and others to land.

I will continue to add updates and information here for all of my work regardless of which world I do it in. I have much to do!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Followup: LL drops the ball, again.

After yesterday, I wanted to update on just exactly whats been done: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I saw some items, like the vendors, and some single pieces had been removed (about 1% of it). Not certain who removed those items. On contacting the lab this morning, I was told that "Oh, yeah the removals team are off for the weekend. Theres really nothing we can do till monday." So....48 hours after sending me a letter stating my content was removed from inventory and in world at those locations, theres actually MORE of my stolen work out there than there was initially:

4 sims full of stolen content still sit there in world. In fact, not only is Skatman and his alt not removed, apparently they had time (or someone with build perms on his stuff) to come in and build some additional items using my stolen work last night. A few of the buildings now have also been rented out and furnished since I filed last week.

From last January, a sign across 2 sims which could be seen in the map.
The email was not answered, content/avatar not removed, but the map was changed 3 times in 24 hours.
THIS is a reason, among others, that I am angry and can see no other recourse.

I will be deleting my sim at 3pm today, and will be filming the protest for to air. I do this primarily because I cannot afford it any longer, but I also want to deny that small portion to them. I'm taking back the 300$ a month that I've been paying them for protection and service there. It is a simple thing, done simply. There is no deep meaning behind it, there is no expectation of change. Protest is simple.

Artists do not fight wars and revolutions. We start them.

Think. Be angry. Act.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rustica: Deleting LagNmoor sim due to THEFT. Thanks for nothing, LL.

Not long ago, an avatar named Skatman Shelman, his alt Skatman Edelmann, decided to start doing entire sim builds for people in SL. The problem: he's using tons of my stolen work to do them with, claiming it as his own work. Hes even got my furniture in vendors. The sims containing this work are Nosferatu, Black Dissidia, Vamps Nest and Les Carpathes.

After Filing a DMCA, waiting for 6 days, I was sent the response that "LL has sucessfully and expeditiously removed the content listed from those locations and the inventory of the avatars." Excellent, right? Not so:

Within an hour of getting this email, I went to all of the locations listed and the items have NOT been removed. 4 sims of my content still sits there, being sold and distributed through vendors, rez boxes, etc. Hundred of pieces of my work - sections form my carriageway house, my garden set, my sculpted prim pack, furniture from my store. One of the houses is even called "maison Rustique." Nice touch.

So, with some of the removals team members fired recently, it seems they are now limiting the enforcement of the third party viewer policy to merely sending you useless documents to make you feel like they have done something to protect you, when in fact they have not done anything but send you a document saying they have. Im not really up to speed on the legalities of this, but it seems to me that telling me they've acted on a DMCA when they haven't would be against some kind of law. It should be if it isn't, but then this is typical of the perfect loopholes that exist within the framework of the TOS policy and the DMCA policy that make it next to impossible for you to do business here.

Those avatars still exist in world, despite my filing on them, LL admitting that the persons were found guilty by way of removing the items from them, and despite 2 other people having filed on this person in the past for similar offenses. Just what exactly do you have to do to be removed from second life? I think we all need to ask that question. Supposedly, the 3rd party viewer policy was designed to help them remove people like Skatman and his alts, to give them more authority. From the working end of that policy (which hasn't stopped any 3rd party viewers from coming to my sim, unlike my CDS which works fine still...) I can say my experience leads me to conclude that it is designed more than anything to make it look like the lab is finally being pro-active about theft. In a word, BOLLOCKS.

I was told "If you have a problem with the removals team responding to your email - send the removals team an email." That is, according to several LL employees, "the only thing you can do." No person to speak to, no help whatsoever beyond that. Nice loophole.

SO...after all of this, Ive just decided to delete the LagNmoor sim and maintain my business in SL on the Rustica sim only. I cannot justify the cost under the current market, and under the current policy enforcement system that exists here. I will continue to operate here as long as possible. Items that existed on that sim, like my houses, will be available on the Rustica sim in vendors.

If you would like to see LagNmoor again before it is gone, now is the time. It will not be here tomorrow. Thank you to all the people who have come to it over the last two years. You are the reason I am still here.

I pray that nothing like this will ever have to happen to another person in SL.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Rustica Release - The Forever House

The Forever House.

I called it that because it took me that long to finish - time spent in attaining a level of detail beyond any of my previous efforts, while reducing the total prim count from over 600 in the initial design down to the finished 280.

While simpler in look and layout than the others, the complexity of the post & beam vernacular style and design of the individual parts places this house firmly as the most difficult of my designs to complete. It is, in many ways, the summation of what I have learned in my time as a home builder.

The Forever House has been designed to fit between the existing range of LagNmoor Village homes in size and prim count, larger than the Crooked House and Seaside Cottage but not as big as the Carriageway House. I have also listened to the many requests and implemented a variety of changes for this and future houses in the LagNmoor Village collection, such as a reduction in scripts, less prims, open floorplan and a completely new rezzer system.

The Forever House contains a variety of sculpted primitives created specifically for this house. The focus on detail and craftsmanship includes:

• Post and beam/plaster construction over stone foundation, beamed ceiling
• Vented gable roof and vented front and rear dormers
• Center split, leaded glass doors and windows with diamond mullions and functional hardware (the doors all open from the right side, unless you are on the other side of them, in which case they open from the left.)
• Sculpted House Djinn to adjust window textures and transparency
• Split barn-style Dutch door with working hardware
• Front Corner Lamp (touch to turn on or off)
• Two working stone fireplaces with a functional chimney and tiled hearths. (click hearth tile to turn on or off the chimney smoke)
• Crown/Shoe moulding
• Qoined corner facades inside and out
• Crenellated machicolations on the tower, varanda and patio
• 1-off and baked texture work throughout
• Curved pocket doors in the stairwell tower at each level
• Front veranda, back patio off the master suite
• 3rd floor tower patio with conical roof for open-air use. (touch to turn on or off)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I wanted to document the Rune sim for posterity, and Mr. Stretch Mayo did an amazing piece of work...a real tribute to the fun we had there. Thank you Stretch! check this out:

(look in 720HD if you can)

A Very Special Thank You To All The Wonderful Photographers and especially Feline Slade and Annaliusa Bertolucci for their photos in this blog... Go Watch The Video From Stretch Mayo!!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Post any and all pictures you have taken of RUNE and the Alpine Death Race On The Rustica Flickr Group.... In Memoriam As A Lasting Tribute To The Beauty Created Here By Maxwell Graf... The Sim has been sold and will be no more VERY VERY SOON! Sunday March 7th 2010 Is The Last Day to Shoot A Bear Or Ride Throught The Alpine Death Race...
Please Share Your Fun Times, Good Memories, Special Moments, Bear Hunts And Awesome Photos...with us

*~*Love To You All*~*